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QUINCY, MA - 13 Oct 2004: The Stop & Shop Supermarket Company today announced plans to roll out new intelligent shopping carts from IBM and Cuesol that promise to transform grocery shopping -- giving shoppers the power of an Internet computer at their fingertips, allowing for faster and more personalized service.
Stop & Shop's new "Shopping Buddy" includes a wireless, touch-screen IBM computer on the shopping cart, equipped with a laser scanner to allow shoppers to scan items as they place them in the cart and to use loyalty cards to alert the store that they have arrived.
Supported by IBM's Store Integration Framework software, the Cart Companion software from Cuesol, an IBM Business Partner, enables a grocery shopper to have a personalized shopping assistant on his or her cart, and gives the shopper such features as:
Stop & Shop also uses IBM Self Checkout systems to enable the self-checkout feature of the new Shopping Buddy once shoppers have completed their cart-based self-scan.
In the future, these intelligent shopping carts could offer such personal shopping assistance as: meal planning, sorted by such things as category, favorites, sale items, diet type, and preparation time, with supporting content such as health notes, recipes from a meal plan and wine information. It also will be able to offer the shopper a guided shopping trip, showing a store map with shopper and product icons mapped by location.
In addition, future features could include pharmacy favorites, ordering and notification, as well as product information that allows for comparison with similar items, consumer ratings and gift suggestions. Ultimately, the personal shopping assistants will allow shoppers to pay at the cart.
"Grocery shopping will never be the same once shoppers begin using the features of the new Shopping Buddy," said Stop & Shop President & CEO Marc Smith. "Our initial pilot tests of these systems have been very positive. Our customers who use them tell us they love them. Advanced retail technology like this will allow us to better serve our customers by saving them time and giving them new personalized services."
Stop & Shop will retrofit its 3 pilot stores with the new IBM-Cuesol systems and plans to install 20 additional stores in the first quarter of 2005.
IBM and Cuesol have signed an agreement to jointly market the Personal Shopping Assistant. Stop & Shop is their first customer.